Sophie Macon

Sophie Macon

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      @fabian – check out the extensive list of Level II tips here


      @artyeasel
      – both you and @christine is right. Conceptual stuff is easy to read and glimpse through, but also doesn’t stick in your mind very well! Managing time and using the right technique with the essays is key. My Level III post goes into these in detail….

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      Back in 2009 when I took the exams, I only knew of Schweser. So I only can comment on that.

      I used Schweser for all my 3 levels, they were short, clear and succinct. Got their practice questions for extra practice too. Number of pages mattered to me (yea I’m terrible that way), but for some it was not enough explanation.

      That said, I’d heard some good 7City reviews from 300 Hours readers too. Now, with their partnership with Wiley, it may have just gotten better.

      I’m in the midst of reviewing Elan materials, so will revert on this…

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      yup, the 300hours @fabian!

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      That’s the spirit guys, it’s all or nothing!

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      It’s quite straightforward, asking your boss or a colleague to act as professional Sponsor is helpful.

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      It’s not as clear cut actually. I did the practice papers too, but somehow it didn’t help much as I was clueless in many questions and probably didn’t take it too seriously. And then the exam fiasco happened where I forgot my time management totally and didn’t finish the questions in the morning exam….

      So guys, the format will throw you off a little, do take your practice papers seriously (timed), and don’t be too discouraged if your answers are not the same word for word…. There’s quite a lot of conceptual stuff that you need to remember (and quote) for Level III. It’s either you know it or not in the exams (there’s no multiple choices to guess this time!)

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      @Diya, I used Schweser for all Levels when I took the CFA a few years ago. I find the question bank ones harder and more representative of exam level questions, whilst study notes were more straightforward to reinforce your understanding of the concepts. Basically question bank is focused on application, study notes questions is more of affirmation of theory.

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      Interesting @Diya, where’s the dream place to work then?

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      I’m equally guilty on the FB front @Reena… good reminder!

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      Helllooooo @Shwebs, welcome!

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      Great suggestions guys! Keep ’em coming!

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      @TacheMan – yes the effect will reverse in later years when the depreciation expense is less (as the asset is of lower net book value), hence the “shield” on profit is less. But the earlier you get your tax savings, the better, due to time value of money. So for example, you could have reinvested those tax savings earlier and earned a rate of return.

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      @james010, interesting, I have a past life in equity derivs structuring. Not a trader though. Where are you based?

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      Hello @SidMenon, glad to have you join us!

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      @hairyfairy, that’s being arranged, no worries! @Reena, we are reaching out to friends in the industry for career profiles too. They were both great suggestions 🙂

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      Have faith @sidmenon, more revision and practice in that area should help. Else post a new question in the discussion thread here to ask the pros in the community. Sometimes it’s better explained by human than reading text book 🙂

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      Hi @Miux, great to have you around! And an equity analyst, woohoo. I believe we have some members here who’d love to hear more about what you do 🙂 What level are you currently on @Miux?

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      Hi @Miux / Kevin, nice to meet you too!

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      Hi @AjFinance! good to see you around 🙂

      I agree (and am glad!) that you are having such a sensible approach to searching for the job you want, specificity here helps (shows you did some homework).


      @Christine
      has many good points on job hunting, so I wouldn’t elaborate on that. Point is you have to hunt for it, relying on headhunters alone isn’t sufficient.

      Just a thought on your sectors of interest:

      Structured products vs. distressed finance investing. I never usually think of which is “in vogue”, but structured products market as you know has fallen out of favour since the crisis started. The market has shrank so has the jobs that is associated with it. Distressed finance investing however is on the rise (counter cyclical after all), therefore you may have a better chance in that. Besides it involves a broader range of skillset applicable to CFA (company/sector valuation etc) and transferable to other career paths later on (private equity, corporate finance, strategy etc); whilst structured products is a very niche/specialised area. That may be the way to go in terms of maximising chance of job search?

      On taking another masters: personally I think CFA + Masters in Finance is an overkill. Possibly a lot of overlap without much added value. You should be confident enough to hustle (yes, hustle) for jobs now since you’re so near to becoming a charterholder now. I always prefer work experience to finance knowledge. It’s always practice over theory for me.

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      Thanks @AjFinance, @Reena. It’s great to hear about India’s development in detail, from a local perspective.

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